Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Sink or Swim (2018)

Go To

Sink or Swim (French: Le Grand Bain) is a 2018 French comedy drama film directed by Gilles Lellouche, starring Guillaume Canet, Virginie Efira, Mathieu Amalric, Leïla Bekhti, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Marina Foïs, Jonathan Zaccaï, and Philippe Katerine.

Bertrand (Amalric) is depressive. He has not worked for two years because of that. One day, he hears that a male synchronised swimming team is looking for new members. He decides to become part of the team, whose other members (Canet, Poelvoorde, Anglade, Katerine...) also have big problems. Some time later, they decide to take part in the international championship of male synchronised swimming.

Advertisement:


Sink or Swim provides examples of:

  • Accidental Athlete: John, a nursing home worker, reveals that he cannot stand the smell of old people, so he holds his breath when he cleans up their bedrooms. So Laurent realizes that he is the man they need to complete the team.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Played for Laughs. Avanish only speaks a very exotic language, but the other members of the team seem to understand him.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Amanda became paraplegic after an accident, so she had to end her career in synchronised swimming.
  • Dancing with Myself: As the team is getting ready for the championship, a montage shows every member dancing alone.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The French title, Le Grand Bain, means both the large bath in a swimming pool (in contrast with the small bath usually used by kids) and professional sport.
  • Advertisement:
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Amanda's training method: she yells at the swimmers to make them realize how useless they are.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Synchronised swimming seems to attract people with flaws. The coaches are a recovered alcoholic (Delphine) and a paraplegic person (Amanda). The team includes a depressive (Bertrand), someone who is angry at the whole world because his mother is mentally ill (Laurent), a failed businessman (Marcus), a failed rock star (Simon), and a Cloudcuckoolander (Thierry).
  • Embarrassing Hobby: Many people in the film (notably Bertrand's sister and brother-in-law) consider that synchronised swimming is an embarrassing hobby for men. The members of the team do not care and even take pride in it.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job:
    • Bertrand has not worked for 2 years because of a depression. He starts working again as a furniture salesman under the orders of his obnoxious brother-in-law.
    • Advertisement:
    • Simon dreams of becoming a rock star, but he gives concerts in nursing homes and works in the canteen of a school.
    • Delphine and Amanda were champions of synchronised swimming. Now they train a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
  • Funny Foreigner: Avanish. The fun comes from the fact that he only speaks a very exotic language, but that the other members of the team seem to understand him.
  • Giftedly Bad: Simon dreams of becoming a rock star and he thinks that he has the talent for that, even if he has not had any success so far. Her daughter has to tell him flatly that he is no David Bowie.
  • Glory Days: Delphine and Amanda were successful champions of synchronised swimming, until Amanda became paraplegic after an accident. Both Delphine and Amanda (who were a team) had to stop their career.
  • Heist Episode: At some point, the swimmers realize they need gear and they do not have enough money for it, so they decide to steal it in a supermarket. The scene parodies the caper genre. The heist fails miserably.
  • Jaded Washout: Most of the team fit the trope.
    • Bertrand is depressive and he has not worked for two years. He starts working again as a furniture salesman.
    • The company of Marcus is on the brink of bankrupcy and he says that he has already wrecked several businesses.
    • Simon dreams of becoming a rock star, but he gives concerts in nursing homes and he lives in a trailer.
    • Thierry's most important task at the swimming pool is to collect buoys. His manager acknowledges that he is useless apart from that.
    • Delphine and Amanda were champions of synchronised swimming. Now they train a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
  • Off the Wagon: After the guy who she stalks confronts her at the swimming pool, Delphine, who is a recovered alcoholic, starts drinking again.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team is made of aging jaded men with big problems. Their coaches are a recovered alcoholic and a paraplegic. They still win the international championship.
  • Recovered Addict: Delphine is a recovered alcoholic. She takes part in meetings of a support group.
  • The Reveal: Delphine does not have a boyfriend. She just stalks a guy who broke up with her years ago.
  • Save Our Team: A team made of aging men with big problems decides to take part in the international championship of male synchronised swimming. The coaches, Delphine and Amanda, who are former champions, help them to win the competition. Partly Subverted because the coaches also have serious problems.
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Bertrand has not worked for 2 years because of a depression. He starts working again as a furniture salesman under the orders of his obnoxious brother-in-law. He does not like the job.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Delphine's boyfriend broke up with her years ago. She keeps on stalking him, which upsets him.
  • Starving Artist: Simon is a rocker and he gives concerts, but he lives in a trailer because he does not earn a lot of money.
  • Token Minority: Avanish is a character of South Asian ethnicity in an otherwise all-white cast. He has little impact on the plot. He does not speak much and only in an exotic language that the audience cannot understand.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Delphine takes part in meetings of a support group of recovered alcoholics.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: The Ragtag Bunch of Misfits wins the international championship of male synchronised swimming.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Simon is a divorced father. His ex-wife has primary custody of his daughter. At some point, Simon goes to his ex-wife's to pick up his daughter, who then spends some time with him in his trailer.
  • Waiting for a Break: Simon dreams of becoming a rock star, but he works in the canteen of a school.

Alternative Title(s): Le Grand Bain

Top